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A Defining Moment at the Cliff Walk in Newport RI
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Newport Cliffwalk
Newport coastline featuring the Cliff Walk. That's The Breakers mansion on the right. Photo Credit: Onne van der Wal

Article and Photo by Eric H.

Amidst all this talk about the bad economy, toxic bank

assets, and corporate bonus money derived from our hard-earned money, sometimes we, as a society, need our own personal, mental health bailout plans.  For us, our definition of that kind of bailout plan means connecting with the sea at the Cliff Walk in Newport, RI.

The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk never fails to create a repeated, personal defining moment of peace, tranquility and perspective on the importance of simplicity and natural beauty. The long, winding nicely restored path affords some spectacular, commanding views of the sea below -- and nothing else. While one doesn't have the variety of things to do here than, say, on a laptop computer or at the shopping mall, the point is that sometimes all you need in life is a nice view and a place to walk.

We could easily say that the Cliff Walk has some of the nicest coastal scenery in New England, but that would be disingenuous to Mother Nature. Many places like the Cliff Walk exist in this region; we just happen to like this location, immensely.

When walking the Cliff Walk, one realizes why wealthy people in the late 19th century were initially drawn to Newport during the "Gilded Age." They came to enjoy life by the ocean -- in this case, living lavish lifestyles in some of America's most spectacular mansions (or, come to think of it, over sized cottages). It was sort of like a bailout plan for the wealthy, escaping high- energy New York City and other busy locations to arrive in a pristine land.

Today, we celebrate Newport as a tourist destination, but I can't help but think that the mansions, shops, music festivals, yacht races, dining and grand hotels were ultimately conceived, figuratively, by the Newport sea. It's the ultimate example of the "cart before the horse" or the "egg before the chicken."  Perhaps the Cliff Walk and its commanding ocean views put things in perspective, gently reminding us of our own personal wealth
in the form of peace of mind and admiring peaceful places like the Cliff Walk.  What a bailout plan, indeed!

Editor's note: Want to stay near the Cliff Walk? Book a room at  The Chanler at Cliff Walk

Related Articles:
Visiting Newport RI

A scenic coastal drive at Ocean Drive, Newport, RI

Colt State Park, Bristol, RI

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